Mac Backup Guru claims to combine the best of both methods, touted as capable of easily and quickly producing a reliable backup disk. With a single Start button, the user can sync the contents of any source with a backup destination via the Finder.
If you select disk volumes in HFS format rather than individual folders to back up to and from, Mac Backup Guru disk backups of startup drives will be bootable.
Subsequently, if the program detects any Mac Backup Guru disk backups of startup drives inconsistency between any files, the source file version will replace the outdated destination file. While an initial cloning backup run can be time-consuming depending on the volume of data to be backed up, subsequent update syncs take minutes instead of hour.
While a full clone disk backup requires that the entire contents of the source disk to overwrite the entire contents of the Destination drive. Updating your initial backup via sync requires that only actual changes made to files since the last backup overwrite the appropriate part of the Destination drive.
Backup via sync does requires an initial backup clone, but all subsequent backups can be synced, which will ignore the vast majority of files that remain the same on the Source and destination disks respectively, changing only files that have been modified or added since the last sync -- an intelligent backup method is comparable to MPEG video compression, in which only differences between successive frames are recorded (until a new I-frame).
The developers, Colorado-based MacDaddy say Mac Backup Guru employs advanced algorithms to ensure that the synced backup maintains a level of data integrity equal to that following the initial clone. This objective is achieved through applying simple logic in the process, with three basic rules are followed:
1. If the size of the file on the Source is different from that on the Destination, the file has changed.
2. If the modification time on the Source is different from than on the Destination, the file has changed.
3. If the file has changed, the program will replace the one on the destination media with the updated file from your source disk
They claim this method can be depended upon to produce perfectly-synced destination disks that will always boot up reliably and perform like the original. Use over periods of time would be required in order to confirm that, but it sounds highly plausible.
Using Mac Backup Guru is as simple as advertised. The icon on the left of the user interface window is labeled "Select Source," with a directional arrow pointing to another icon window on the right labeled "Select Destination." After selecting a source and destination, you just click the Backup button and let Mac Backup Guru do its stuff automatically.
In my testing, Mac Backup Guru worked as advertised, and certainly upheld its easy-to-use claims. With just one user interface window and three controls plus a progress bar, it's an elegantly simple piece of software. My only major criticism is that $39.00 for any one-trick-pony utility seems more than a little bit steep in this day and age - however well the pony executes the trick.
However, convenience, ease of use, and reliability have value too, so whether this program offers enough to justify its price is a subjective determination you'll have to make.
* Mac OS X 10.7 or later
* 3.4 MB
A fully functional demo can be downloaded.
Mac Backup Guru sells for $39.00 and is available directly from the publisher's website.
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